Black Artists Connected, Facebook Group Hits 100K Members

Have you ever had a winning day on social media? I recently experienced a Facebook winning-to-the-max type of connection. I located a group online that made my day and forced me to look at social media as a could-be think-tank, one that provides artists exposure and invites newcomers.

The Works Are Winning Pieces

I marvel at the humility with which veteran and aspiring new artists take and give constructive criticism. I chime in on the comment section adding words like, “beautiful and empowering.” I enjoy the diverse and unapologetically black lens through which artists express creativity on this platform.

 Revolutionary: Diversity In Blackness Welcome

The administrators respond quickly to requests to join. They respond even quicker to homophobic posts.  They maintain that the group is for all artists who identify as black including those who are LGBTQ. One issue I saw handled swiftly was the requests to submit from white artists at different stages in their craft who wanted in. I believe the adults (there was one young white artist, age 13) understood the power in the group so I don’t blame them for seeking admission, other than the fact that the group title specifically speaks to being for and about black people, which they ignored. Entitlement issues again.

The Invite For A Sub-Group

Black Artists Connected did the ultimate and added a sub-group for writers. My invite to join came from Lauren Richardson page leader, who says of the expansive growth of BAC and WBAC,

“We did our work administratively, but it’s the artists that blew up the page.”

Richardson says the group’s newfound virality is an organic result of exceptional work and fans sharing.

There’s A Group For Writers, Too

I’m the 56th member in Writing – Black Artists Connected (WBAC.) At last count the group was over 200. l  feel honored to be connected with black writers all entering on the ground floor of a group with unlimited possibilities. Like the main art page, we support and encourage one another. In Writing Black Artists Connected, we are word nerds creating platforms that speak to social justice, black liberation, and knowledge of self.

In that space, poems and stories about love and life are given voice by some of the brightest conscious minds I’ve encountered in one space in a long time. Artists are addressing contemporary issues and paying homage to the ancestors in their unique works.

Try on Different Hats See What Feels the Best

My first week with the writers group was awesome, the talent is amazing. In the group, I grow and stretch. I encourage others. I note in my heart that I’ve come across something special. I’ve shared and received. I’ve put on my pedagogical hat when fellow writers desire an in-depth critique. During the three weeks I’ve been a member, I’ve hosted my first live poetry set and penned an erotic poem.  Writing erotica is an area I struggle with. Being challenged and encouraged by group members helped me to identify a muse and get it written.

The Group Seems Pre-Destined

I came across Black Artists Connected about six weeks ago. The Daily Dot reports that The Facebook page was founded by Kinte K. Ferguson whose father, Cecil Ferguson, started a career in 1948 at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. Taking an interest in the art he saw while working, Ferguson worked his way up to curator assistant at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Perfect Score, Denied Promotion

The Black Arts Council was chartered under Ferguson and the council advocated for the inclusion of African-American Art. Ferguson became the first black curator in the LACMA system in 1969. After receiving a perfect score, the museum refused him a promotion. A discrimination suit, which Ferguson won, against his employer helped change things. Ferguson became known as an advocate for social justice.

Hitting the 100,000 Member Slot

The younger Ferguson is continuing his dad’s legacy and love of black art.  When I joined BAC had 64,000 members. They just accepted their 100,000th member. I became aware of the site after admiring the work of  Nige’s Art, on Naturally Flyy, a natural hair care page with Detroit, Michigan roots.

BAC Artist Lives Her Passion With Paint

Nigeria is not from Detroit, but that’s not why her work stuck out. It was  the depth of her art that showcases the beauty of Black women and beautiful hair in its natural state that caught my eye. I began following her page because she seemingly lives and breathes art, producing new work several times per week. Nige’s page led me to Black Artist Connected.  I began sharing a lot of the work shown on the site.

As writers and visual artists, we’re healing, teaching, learning, and growing with our art. There are so many ways art can be used to heal people and communities.  I am all the way here for Black Artists Connected.

Feature Image: Rod Waddington Under a Creative Commons License 2.0

C. Imani Williams is a human rights and social justice activist. She writes to empower and give voice to those silenced through systematic oppression. Her work has appeared in Between the Lines, Michigan Citizen, Tucson Weekly, Harlem Times, Dope Magazine and various news and popular culture blogs. Follow the unapologetically black political culture critique @ and